Lilit Martiorsyan participated in
ILGA-Europe annual conference
From 23rd to 26th of October, 2019 the annual conference of ILGA-
Europe (the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) which was attended by
Lilit Martirosyan, the Founding President of the Right Side Human
Rights Defender NGO was held in Prague, Czech Republic.
During the workshop Lilit Martirosyan participated in several
meetings and discussions on the situation of the LGBTI community
in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Mrs Martirosyan and several other speakers held a discussion on
the safety of human rights defenders. During the discussion a
video of Lilit Martirosyan’s speech at the RA National Assembly
was shown, which received a great response. The participants
were particularly interested in the response of the state bodies to
the situation and Lilit Martirosyan’s security. Lilit said that after her
speech at the National Assembly, as a result of protests by ethnic
groups and other transphobe groups, hate speech and threats of
death on the online platform, she was forced to leave the country
temporarily with her family members and staff. Afterwards, the
participants expressed their gratitude to Lilit Martirosyan for her
tremendous work and encouraged her to continue her work and
not to bow to any obstacle.
Lilit shared with the experience of Right Side NGO on how to
mobilize human, technical and financial resources to ensure the
safety of the NGO and human rights defenders. She emphasized
the importance of having security policies in order to reduce the
risks and dangers arising from the activities of human rights
defenders. Another meeting was devoted to the discussion of
reporting hate speech and violence, methods of case collection
and monitoring against the LGBTI community during which it was
enhanced Eastern European and Central Asian civil society’s
experience of reducing hatred towards the LGBTI community,
including the formation of community and cross-sectorial
partnerships. This discussion will also have a positive impact on
the development of regional initiatives (“Trans Murder
Monitoring”, “ProTrans”, “UNIFORM”, “Call It Hate”).
Lilit Martirosyan has returned from the ILGA-Europe annual
conference with new ideas and new acquaintances that are
crucial to the operation of the Right Side NGO and the further
development of transgender community advocacy in Armenia.
Workshop on campaigning for activists
On October 4-6, 2019, a workshop on “How to run Cultural and Human
Rights Campaigns” organized by the “Right Side” human rights
defender NGO. the workshop was funded by the Canadian Foundation
for Local Initiatives (CFLI).
The workshop was organized for all the volunteer activists who were
willing to support organisation of cultural and human rights events for
On the first working day, participants got to know each other, shared
ideas, expectations, and fears. NGO President Lilit Martirosyan
presented the topics and activities for the next three days and wished
the participants an effective working day. The facilitators explained
the importance of organizing campaigns, as well as the importance of
teamwork in terms of community-individual interdependence, the role
of the state, and types of governance. A team of planned campaigns
was formed by the participants. All participants were enthusiastic
about the work and discussions.
On the second working day, participants were divided into
workgroups, discussed how to engage artists, entrepreneurs and
politicians into activities for equality and cultural diversity. They
identified key targets and audiences they would like to work with at
upcoming events and engage them in NGO work. Emphasizing social
media as a key information tool for equality campaigning, the invited
expert detailed the methods of managing social networks and how to
accurately analyze social media statistics to make campaigns more
targeted. Then, as a result of group discussion, the participants
presented a content plan for social media campaigns.
On the last day of the workshop, participants and trainers discussed
how to utilize the resources available and the role of the stakeholder
to make the work more effective. The workshop continued with
various discussions, with analyzing the strengths and weaknesses,
opportunities and risks of organizing campaigns. For better
understanding participants did SWOT and PEST analysis.
At the end of the workshop, NGO President Lilit Martirosyan thanked
the participants for providing their time and resources and then the
participants were given participation certificates.
The Right Side NGO team expresses its gratitude to the supporters
and participants of the workshop and hopes that such events will be
continuous and that the participants will be actively involved in the
Right Side NGO’s work in future.
RA MoJ meeting on Human rights strategy
On September 13 and 18, 2009, Right Side Human Rights defender
NGO President Lilit Martirosyan and Programs officer A.
Gevorgyan participated in a meeting dedicated to the national
human rights protection strategy organized by the RA Ministry of
Justice.The first day’s discussion was aimed at analyzing the
situation in the field of equality, protecting the rights of vulnerable
groups (children’s rights, women’s rights, the rights of persons
with disabilities, etc.) and mapping the key issues.
The second day’s discussion focused on the analysis of the
situation in the areas of social, educational, labor rights,
healthcare, environmental protection etc.
During the first and second days, Lilit Martirosyan and A.
Gevorgyan presented the problems of transgender people in
various fields, in particular in the field of education, health care,
social protection and others.
Right Side Human Rights defender NGO expresses its gratitude to
the Ministry of Justice for organizing such meetings and making
the voice of civil society representatives heard.
The #ONLYLOVE campaign is designed to
illustrate the thoughts or activities of
Armenian cultural figures who showcase their
queerness in their art in all its beauty.
"The artist is the singer of life ...
And life denies evil. It is the
artist's duty - to preach love for
nature, HUMAN and work."
...Now, listen, I begin my intimate
poem infinite, sinful, and
Transgender woman’s lawyer on
After the speech of the transgender woman in the RA National
Assembly on April 5, 2019, we did not wait long for the public, as
predicted it was mostly negative, but there were cases when the
audacity of some representatives of the society exceeded all
predictable and unpredictable limits.
Lilit Martirosyan, the president of Right Side NGO applied to law
enforcement bodies several times to be protected from threats and
harassment and to prevent the disclosure of her personal information.
We talked to lawyer Arthur Margaryan about these and other legal
cases. Arthur Margaryan is representing Lilit Martirosyan in a number of
-Mr. Margaryan, could you please say whether there were any threats
reported to the police after Lilit Martirosyan’s speech in the Parliament
and if so, how many reports have been submitted and in what stage are
-Yes, after Lilit Martirosyan’s NA speech there was definitely a need to
worry about her physical and psychological well being and safety, and
that is why Lilit Martirosyan filed a police report on the threats. The
police declined the initiation of a criminal case, mentioning the threats
were not real. According to the Police, people expressed the people’s
free opinion and resentment. We are currently in the court appealing
the rejection of the criminal criminal case.
In the framework of the same criminal case, when the supermarket
dispatcher publicized Lilit Martirosyan’s address, the investigating body
and the police decided that it is an open information that could be easily
accessed by any citizen who would visit the election.am website and
check Lilit Martirosyan’s address, but did not note that Lilit
Martirosyan’s registration address is posted on the site, and no actual
residence address has been posted anywhere, which means that it
could not be viewed as public information.
There is another case about insult in the Yerevan City Court of General
Jurisdiction for insulti, when once again the irates.am website called
Lilit Martirosyan was “perverted” after her speech, a civil case was filed
for public apology with a claim for compensation.
-Mr. Margaryan, what kind of obstacles you face, while representing
Trans or LGB persons rights?
– The main obstacles arise with the police and investigative authorities
when they refuse to pursue or delay the process even if there is
sufficient evidence and obvious crime, based on the SOGIE of the
-Have you ever experienced or faced any obstacles with the court ?
-No. The court usually moves in its normal course of action if the case
is in the court already. Still with the main obstacles arising from the
investigation stage: the police and the investigative body.
We conclude from a conversation with a lawyer, despite the fact that a
number of NGOs and public institutions in Armenia are fighting for
democratic society and universal equality in Armenia, the relevant
authorities and law enforcement bodies do not have sufficient political
will to properly address LGBT issues and act in line with it.
New details of a transgender man trial
K.A. has applied to the CSAR Agency of RA Ministry of Justice to
change the gender note in the registration act from female to male.
Under the current legislation of the RA, the CSARA body compels a
person to undergo sex reassignment surgery, and only in that case
it is considered possible to register a sex change, which is not in
accordance with Article 3 of the RA Constitution, according to
which a person is of the highest value.
The inalienable dignity of man is the indissoluble foundation of his
rights and freedoms. It also compels a person to undergo
irreversible surgical intervention, which is also prohibited by the RA
legislation and recorded in a number of judgments of the European
Court. Also, according to the Article 85 of the RA Constitution,
everyone has the right to health in accordance with the law. Article
8 of the RA Law on “Medical Care and Services of the Population”
stipulates that a person’s consent is a necessary condition for a
medical intervention, except the cases provided by this Law. That
is, in this case, compelling a person to medical intervention to make
a correction in the CSARA is an interference with a person’s
personal life, their physical and spiritual security and immunity.
In such circumstances, we filed a lawsuit with to Administrative
Court against the requirement to enforce a favorable administrative
act of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, namely, to
register a legal sex change without submitting a confirmation about
Gender reassignment surgery. The first court hearing was
scheduled in October, 2019, however, it was postponed because the
Court requested to adduce the European Court’s judgment cited in
the request in the Armenian language.
Details of Transgender Women Trial
In September 2018, a group of transgender women who needed
legal assistance applied to the Right Side Human Rights
Defender NGO. The transgender women were banned from
attending a sports club, they were mocked and humiliated on
the grounds of their gender identity and gender expression.
The Right Side NGO Lawyer provided his support and he helped
them to apply to the court with a demand for the recognition
of the violation of rights on the basis of discrimination.
Thus, a lawsuit has been filed in court against the sports club
with a demand to recognize the violation of M.S., N.A. and M.E.
rights and discriminatory attitudes towards them.The first
hearing was scheduled on October 1, 2019, but because of the
lack of notification of the respondent, the hearing was
postponed and a new hearing has been scheduled on October
Lilit Martirosyan demands public apology
On 5th of April 2019, for the first time in the Armenian history, a
transgender woman spoke from the RA Parliament.
This was a precedent in the Armenian history and certainly, it could not
remain without any feedback.
The public response was very different and massive. There were a lot of
derogatory comments and statements addressed to Lilit Martirosyan,
who is the President of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, the
first Trans person in the Armenian history to have enough courage to be
engaged in human rights activism by raising trans issues.
After her speech in the Parliament thousands of insulting statements
were addressed towards Lilit Martirosyan, she was threatened to be
tortured and killed, her personal information including her home
address were found out and published, she and the other members of
the Right Side NGO were prosecuted and subjected to different criminal
activities on the basis of hatred and discrimination.
One of such cases was the post on irates.am, where Lilit Martirosyan
was called “perverted”, but this time she decided not to neglect this
step and in May 2019 she filed a lawsuit seeking a public apology and
claiming for compensation.The court decided to distribute the burden of
proof on the parties. Thus, the parties have time till November 1, 2019 to
find sufficient evidence. The hearing is scheduled for November 5 of this
Public Report on Violations to the
Prosecutor General’s Office of the RA
We are informed from the article: “The 14 transgenders from Cuba
are infected with AIDS, – states Malyan. What does the Migration
Service say?” published on Aysor.am on October 14, 2019, at
15:57, that Narek Malyan, the initiator of the “VETO” movement
assures that his information on transgender people in Armenia is
Narek Malyan has written on his Facebook page that “14 (edit.
items) transgenders from Cuba are infected with AIDS. This
information is received from official sources, you can share it.
There are 16 (edit. items) in total, and 14 of them are infected with
AIDS. By the way, one of them was working at a bakery.”
As a result of the examination of Mr. Malyan’s social website, the
”Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO has concluded that
according to several articles of the RA Criminal Code, his
statements contain crime, in particular:
claiming that the information is from official sources, it can be
concluded that if 14 transgenders from Cuba are HIV-infected, then
the mentioned information has been obtained either through
persons providing medical care and services or other illegal
According to Article 145 of the Criminal Code of the RA: “Divulging
Divulging information on the patient’s illness or the results of
medical tests, by the medical personnel, without professional or
official need, is punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 500, or
by deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or practice certain
activities from 2 to 5 years, or with arrest for the term of 1 to 2
According to Article 144 of the Criminal Code of the RA:
“Illegal collecting, keeping, use and dissemination of information
pertaining to personal or family life”:
Information which is considered to be a personal or family secret
used without one’s consent or dissemination by public speeches,
publicly demonstrated works or through mass media, or collecting
or keeping, unless this is envisaged by law, is punished with a fine
in the amount of 200 to 500 minimal salaries, or correctional labor
for up to 1 year, or with arrest for the term of 1 to 2 months.
Mr. Malyan, materializing transgender persons seeking asylum, he
has used the word “item” by speaking about them, in which case it
can be concluded that Mr. Malyan has a humiliating approach
towards certain groups of people due to their sex, national or
ethnic origin, alleged gender identity, alleged HIV status, or being
alleged sex worker or other social circumstances.
Taking into account Article 226 of the Criminal Code of the RA:
“Inciting national, racial or religious hatred”:
1) Actions aimed at the incitement of national, racial or religious
hatred, at racial superiority or humiliation of national dignity, are
punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 500 minimal salaries,
or with correctional labor for up to 2 years, or with imprisonment
for the term of 2-4 years.
2) The actions envisaged in part 1 of this Article committed
publicly or by mass media are punished with imprisonment for the
term of 3 to 6 years.
Acknowledging Article 3 of the RA Constitution:
1)The human being shall be the highest value in the Republic of
Armenia. The inalienable dignity of the human being shall
constitute the integral basis of his or her rights and freedoms.
2) The respect for and protection of the basic rights and freedoms
of the human being and the citizen shall be the duty of the public
Affirming that according to Article 143 of the Criminal Code of the
RA, direct or indirect breach of the human rights and freedoms of
citizens, for reasons of the citizen’s nationality, race, sex,
language, religion, political or other views, social origin, property
or other statuses, which damaged the citizen’s legal interests, is
punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 400 minimal salaries,
or with imprisonment for up to 2 years.
Based on the reasons for initiating a criminal case under Article
176 of the Criminal Code of the RA:
1) physical and legal entities reports on the crimes addressed to
the body of inquiry, investigator, prosecutor;
2) media reports about crimes.
Presenting the aforementioned facts, the “Right Side” Human
Rights Defender NGO submits a public report on the crime to the
RA Prosecutor General asking to check Narek Malyan’s publication
in connection with the alleged crimes.
The “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO sends the copy of
the report to the Human Rights Defender’s Office of Armenia to
oversee the equity, legality, impartiality of the criminal
proceedings on the basis of this report and to exclude possible
discrimination against transgender people seeking asylum.
In August to October, 2019 Right Side
Human Rights Defender NGO had 258
70 participants in community events
195 office visitors
12 beneficiaries received HIV prevention
18 participants in outgoing events
11 beneficiaries get tested for HIV
15 beneficiaries received legal